Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta has reiterated his ministry’s commitment to all Fijian Government agencies in prioritizing the rights of women to safety, freedom and access to leadership and decision making.
He officiated at the Gender, Gender Based Violence and Human Rights Training for senior officers of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs in Korolevu this morning.
“I know, with the National Gender Policy to guide us, and with the expertise of people in this Inter-Agency Task Force, we will continue to progress addressing gender inequality and violence against women in the public place, workplace, in our communities and in our home,” he said.
“We know that violence against women and children is an issue in our country that requires urgent attention. Sixty-four percent of our very own women here in Fiji, according to the Fiji Women’s Crises Centre survey, are subjected to unacceptable violence. Fijian women suffer violence including physical, sexual or emotional violence and quite often the only choice is to flee to seek help.”
Dr Koroivueta told trainees that they were all representatives of organizations that provide the assistance sought by victims.
“The problem of gender based violence is immense, particularly domestic violence, and our iTaukei communities and settings are no exceptional. It is often seen as a private matter and does not always get reported. Domestic Violence is a crime! Therefore it must be reported.”
The training workshop aims to provide greater understanding on the dynamics of gender based violence. “Your role is to encourage and make sure that reporting of gender based violence incidents amongst all people in the community is consistent to the referral pathways in this Service Delivery Protocol, as well as the Domestic Violence Decree and the Child Welfare Decree,” the Permanent Secretary told senior officers.
Participants were reminded that the Ministry of i Taukei is a signatory to the Service Decree Protocol, and committed frontline service providers to a common set of principles and guidelines to ensure survivors of GBV, mostly women and girls, receive the best care and treatment.
These include the provision of appropriate, timely and quality services for survivors of gender-based violence together with accountability and justice for perpetrators.